Fan into flame the gift of God that is in you

Fan into flame the gift of God that is in you – a sermon on 2 Timothy 1:1-7 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

One of the highest ranking television shows in Australia at the moment is “The Good Doctor.” It is about Sean, an autistic doctor who has to get to grips with the difficulties of living on his own and of working in an environment with which he is very uncomfortable. He for instance has a problem interacting with others, and well, in a hospital you kind-of-need to do that! But the president of the hospital has known Sean from an early age, and has always been there to guide him. He’s steered him through the difficult situations he’s encountered. Many of us have had such a person in our lives – someone to whom we could go when the going got tough, someone with whom we could touch base every so often just to get a bit of advice or direction, perhaps someone whom we knew wouldn’t hesitate to show us what the right path is when we’ve gone slightly off the rails. For some it might be the chaplain at school or the teacher you know you can trust. It may be someone who has had a major impact on your life, perhaps the person who led you to Christ. It may be your mom or dad, if you are blessed to have such a really close relationship with them. It may be one of the elders at church. Whoever it is, it is someone whom you can trust without any hesitation, someone with whom you’ve developed a relationship.

Paul and Timothy had this type of relationship. They met during Paul’s 2nd missionary trip. Timothy came from a mixed background – with both Gentile and Jewish roots. Paul became a model for the young man, and example for his ministry. He mentored Timothy, he kept track of him, he corresponded with him, all the while guiding him. And both these evangelists carried out their ministry by depending on God to equip and direct them.

Paul’s mentoring didn’t stop when he was arrested. Even in the dungeon where he likely was when writing this letter, he takes up his pen to write and to motivate his “spiritual son” in Ephesus. Timothy was also in a tough spot, for the church at Ephesus was under siege from heretics.

Now we can’t put ourselves in Timothy’s position, but imagine for a moment that you’re facing a major crisis. All of a sudden your phone pings with an email from the person who led you to Christ, that person to whom you always turn for practical and spiritual help. I’m sure you’d very quickly read the email, and I can picture Timothy doing the same with Paul’s letter.

The first 7 verses of Paul’s letter consists of three sections. There’s

      • an introduction (v1-2);
      • an inspiration (v3-5); and
      • an instruction (v6-7).

As we consider these 7 verses this morning, let’s also consider how they can help us as a congregation to use our gifts and talents to glorify God.